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40+ Mile training ride today

Went for a 40+ mile ride today. First half was great – second half was filled with smoke from the south Georgia fires. Didn’t have much problem breating and was able to maintain a good pace. I’ve heard of the smoky mountains, but this is ridiculous.
If you’re wanting to track the smoke flows, you should check out the satellite detection site.

Train in the Conditions You May Experience

Right now there are massive wild fires burning in South Georgia, and smoke has blown all the way up to metro Atlanta. 11 days away from the half ironman in Macon and I realize that there is some likelihood that this condition will arise during the event (especially on a one loop, 56 mile bike course).
The National Weather Service issued this statement:

THE SMOKE WILL ENHANCE THE AIR QUALITY PROBLEMS TODAY…ESPECIALLY IN THE METRO AREAS OF ATLANTA…ATHENS… COLUMBUS…AND MACON. PEOPLE WITH RESPIRATORY PROBLEMS AND THE ELDERLY SHOULD REMAIN INDOORS IN THOSE AREAS WITH THICK SMOKE.

I’m about to go for my lunch time run. Sounds crazy, but I’m almost as healthy as they come. Don’t worry, I’ll take it easy out there.

Leon’s Is the Best

Putting it all together


Leon Has It All

Originally uploaded by Mike.

You’ve really gotta click thru and see the larger image to appreciate the breadth of offerings at Leon’s. He’s got a notary, a post office, milk shakes, bbq sandwiches, a wide assortment of beer and wine. This is the kind of place you like to find when you’re out on a 50 mile training ride. I enjoy stopping in for some gatorade refills and gummy lifesavers. And I rest easy knowing that I can get bullets there, too.

Random Thoughts and a Brief Recap of My Podium Finish

Is it pretentious to do a sprint distance triathlon as a brick workout when you’re training for a 1/2 iron or full iron distance event?? I did just that a few weeks back and ended up in first place in my division!! I woke up after a night of storms – had a flat tire on my bike (nothing new there – you ride enough miles and inevitably run over glass or something and get a flat). Went to the triathlon parking lot, fixed my flat, paid cash for the entry fee, went out and got first. Overall I was around 57th out of over 300 finishers. Gotta get a bike set up for time trialing and I’ll be all set. The water temp was in the 60s, so the extra buoyancy and warmth of a wetsult would’ve helped, too.
I’m trying to figure out how to improve safety, and about the only thing I can come up with is some sort of licensing scheme. But the issuance of racing licenses would be difficult to administer (just look at the DMV). I think of this because during the bike leg one of the leaders was hit (or ran into – not exactly sure which) a mini-van on the course. I wasn’t far behind him and when I first came through he wasn’t moving at all. His bike was separated from the fork – the fork was separated from the wheel. I did see him move when I came back through (it was roughly .5 miles to the turnaround point). I got reports later that he was totally banged up, but would do OK once he got to the hospital. Dude probably knew what he was doing and it was just one of those freak accidents that happen – licensing probably wouldn’t have helped.
It’s really nice to be able to eat an average of 3700 calories a day and still lose weight. The flip side to this is that it’s really a chore to consume 3700 calories in a day. I guess I could just got get a few Big Macs and french fries and be done, but they really need to be a healthful 3700 calories. 50% carbs, 25% protein, and 25% fat is the fuel mixture I’m shooting for right now.
The Macon Rock and Rollman (Ironman 70.3 distance) event is just 2 weeks away!! This weekend was a sort of iron weekend. Friday was a 2700 yard swim (1.5 miles), Saturday was a 52 mile bike ride (with a flat at mile 49 – curses!!) and today was a 13 mile run. I’ve always been a cyclist, but I really love the simplicity of running. You just gotta lace your shoes up and go. There is no drive train to clean and oil, no flats to fix, and the road rash is much less severe.
Does Initech have an electronic version of the cover sheet for their online TPS reports?? Surely they went online with those things after the fire. I’m sure they kept Hawaiian shirt day on Friday.

Going Green

No, I don’t drive a hybrid or electric vehicle. There are no solar panels on my roof. I am not on litter patrol. However – as technology progresses and brings us things that are good for the enivronment and my wallet, I hop aboard. Such is now the case with compact fluorescent lighting.
Tonight, I started by replacing a single 3-way lightbulb with one of the new 3-way CF bulbs from The Home Depot. Surprisingly, this thing is just as bright and uses less than 1/3 the energy of the incandescent bulb it replaced. I’ve got it on the equivalent of 150 watts right now, and it’s only drawing 32 watts of electricity – that’s 18 watts fewer than the lowest setting on the bulb it replaced. And to top it off it’s a lot cooler. It seems to be producing only around 1/4 the heat the old one did.
I talked to the guy working in the lighting area and he said that companies are making all kinds of visual improvements to the bulbs so that you don’t notice any difference. I think I could replace just about all the bulbs in the house, except for the bulbs in the ceiling fan with the clear globes. These just wouldn’t look right.
Financially – the math seems to indicate that I could save over $110 in electricity based on using the thing 3 hours a day over 9 years. This is the lamp on my nightstand, so 3 hours a day isn’t that far fetched. It’s probably on 1/2 hour in the morning and 2 1/2 hours at night. The bulb was about $9 – that’s probably $6 more than a regular 3-way bulb. You don’t have to have an MBA in Finance to see the return on investment here.
Environmentally, according to the US EPA & Department of Energy Energy Star program, if every household in America replaced just 1 – ONE – lighbulb with a compact fluorescent, it would have the impact of removing 800,000 cars from the roads and save enough electricity to light 2.5 million homes for a year.
This truly sounds like a win-win situation to me.

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